July 2019: Vista 2019, the three-day business fest organized from July 26-28 by the two-year MBA students of IIM Bangalore, had acclaimed leaders from industry and society engage with management students on a variety of subjects ranging from building powerful social networks to the strategies that start-ups must adopt in order to scale.
The focus of the fest was on ‘Command, Conquer, Captivate’, where industry executives spoke about the need for a leader to strategize and find new methods that strengthen existing business. The three words, said the organizing team of Vista 2019, depict the different set of activities required at different stages of a business and the importance of leadership at each stage. Featuring an array of workshops and events ranging from case studies and panel discussions to trading games and corporate strategy simulations, Vista 2019 raised the bar for B-School business fests.
On July 27, Devdutt Pattanaik, acclaimed author, talked about Indian mythology and related it to the right business practice for India and the world. Richard Lobo, Head of the HR department at Infosys, spoke on the human quotient and stated, “The heart of the employee should be linked to the organization for the best use of the human resource.” Shridhar Venkat, CEO of The Akshay Patra Foundation, talked about hunger and education in India. “No child in India shall be deprived of education because of hunger,” he said, describing the misson of the foundation. Kim Sharma, Vice-President of ITW PlayWorx and a former model and actress, spoke on the future of the entertainment industry with a strong focus on OTT platforms. Ajay Datta, Head of Product, LinkedIn, India, talked about changing dynamics of social networks. “You can earn trust every day, but you can lose it in one day,” he said. This was followed by a discussion on ‘Journalism: In the Era of Fake News,’ by B.V. Rao, Editor, Firstpost. “To avoid falling prey to fake news, we must stop believing everything we see on the ‘Whatsapp University’ and verify facts before showing symptoms of ‘forward-it is’,” he remarked.
A FICCI Young Leaders panel discussion was conducted on ‘Business Models: Innovations and Implications’ and moderated by Tamanna Inamdar of ET Now. The panel members included Amisha Jain, CEO of Zivame, Abhishek Bansal, Co-founder and CEO of Shadowfax, Amuleek Singh Bijral, Co-Chair, FICCI Taskforce on Food Services Retail and Founder-CEO, Chai Point, and Viren Shetty, Executive Director and Group COO, Narayana Health. The panelists described the journey of their startups, and spoke about how they pivoted the products and models with changing times and changing consumer behavior. They also discussed current business opportunities in India and how it is exciting as well as challenging to be a start-up.
A workshop on self-realization was conducted by the Aravani Art Project, a trans-women art collective. The workshop focused on using art to realize the self. The workshop also had a narration of the personal stories by trans-artists of Aravani. Anuj Gosalia, Founder and CEO of Terribly Tiny Tales (TTT), led a writing workshop, which introduced participants to techniques and ways of writing compelling prose, from short  character stories to long, immersive content. A workshop on Effective Communication was facilitated by Anusha Khurana, who spoke of the need to “strike a chord within oneself, before striking a chord with someone else.”
Vista’19 also hosted events like Data and Beyond, a three-level elimination round to sharpen participants’ analytical skills by bidding for data and subsequently curating a solution; Optimus, a real-time simulation game where participants run their own company; Numero Uno, which tested the participants on various managerial skills; MarkGuru, which tested participants’ ability to understand the consumer market and real-time business situations and Trojan Horse, a consulting competition, where participants have to come up with business strategy decisions.
On Friday, July 26, Vista’19 was inaugurated by Prof. Padmini Srinivasan, PGP Chair, IIMB, and the guests of honor, Kamalesh Kumar Sharma, VP and Chief Communication Officer, Hindustan Coca Cola Beverages (HCCB), Indrajeet Sengupta, Chief Human Resources Officer, HCCB, and Suresh Narayanan, Chairman and MD of Nestlé India Limited.
A panel discussion with Kamlesh Sharma and Indrajeet Sengupta of HCCB was moderated by Anwesha Behera and Karan Tulsiyan, PGP2 students of IIMB. It revolved around the growth of HCCB what unique traits set it apart.
Nitin Bawankule, Country Director, Google Cloud India and an IIMB alumnus, spoke about the disruptions in the industry caused by the internet. Citing the example of Google voice search being unable to identify commands, owing to the mix of multiple vernacular languages in the same statement, he underscored the importance of adapting to these changes, to remain relevant in the industry.
This session was followed by an account on Leadership Crisis by Suresh Narayanan, of Nestle, India. Detailing the journey of Nestle in India, he stressed the importance of leadership traits like humility, the right attitude, and how these qualities enabled him to successfully handle the Maggi crisis in India. He summed up his vision for ideal leadership in a beautiful quote, “Many times in life you do things that don’t matter to you, you do it for others.”
Each day of Vista’19 came to an end with Vista Nights. The band Agnee performed on July 27, and stand-up comedian Zakir Khan wrapped up the fest with a class act on July 28.